I haven’t seen many people discuss physical depression, in fact, I don’t really know much about it. I say I don’t know much about it because I don’t really understand how it works. I have experienced it, but I can’t explain it, but on my worst days my depression is not just crippling mentally but also physically.
Today is one of those days where I found it incredibly difficult to get out of bed, not because I wasn’t particularly happy, but because I have this terrible pain in my shoulders which feels like they have been dislocated, and forced back into place. It’s frustrating because I haven’t done anything that should cause this much pain and sometimes I wake up and literally feel like screaming because it hurts that much. I had been told it was my posture, so I corrected my posture and I still get the pain. I was told it was the way I slept so I changed sleeping positions and it still happens. I’ve been given countless reasons and everything I have tried has not stopped the pain and so the only thing left to say about the pain is that it is more than likely in my head.
I have been getting a pain in the left side of my abdomen for a few years now. This too has no reason for being, it just happens. I have this pain almost constantly. It feels like I’m being stabbed and then punched over and over. I’ve learnt to live with this pain because it’s been happening for so long, I feel there is no point complaining about a pain I deal with everyday. My shoulders on the other hand, are far more annoying. This pain is far more intense and concentrated and feels like I’m being smacked with a bag of hammers. This is not an exaggeration, I have a fairly high pain threshold, I once broke two of my fingers and didn’t realise until the next day when they went purple and swelled up to the size of a balloon. I was forced to visit the school nurse and even then I was adamant that I didn’t want to cause a fuss. I once stabbed a craft knife almost straight through my thumb and spent 10 minutes trying to stop the bleeding myself before I decided I should probably get some help. I still have a scar from that. Finally, I have always had a problem with my feet, they are incredibly claustrophobic. One day when I was at school (I was probably around 7) I rubbed my toe on the end of my shoe so much (my feet get very itchy) that when I finally took my shoes off I had a blister the size of a bouncing ball on the end of my toe. This blister had to be drained by a nurse because it was so big, The nurse was shocked that I had been able to walk from my house to the doctor’s surgery. I don’t exaggerate pain, if anything I downplay it. And that is because I have always felt that pain is personal but also I don’t want to be seen negatively as the type of person who always has a problem to complain about (Ironic really considering my life) I am in pain almost everyday and it would be fruitless for me to talk about it regularly.
Some people don’t believe that depression can cause physical pain, I disagree, I don’t think my brain could cause this level of pain if it didn’t hate me as much as it does. I also know that if there actually was something seriously wrong with me by now I probably would have found out or died from it. And so the debilitating, monotonous, frustrating, torturous pain that occurs from depression for me is both mental and physical and incredibly unpleasant.
The Elephant in the Room